Rotary film processors for b/w films - what are the options?
I have been doing b/w film developing using Paterson tanks for years. Until recently, I have never had the chance to try rotary film processors (Jobo CPE-2)- oh boy, I love it! But - the unit belonged to a friend, and I would like to know what the options are today - given that Jobo's processor manufacturing facilities was closed several years ago. I can't seem to find anyone still making rotary film processors for home use.
Also, I would really prefer a much simpler rotary processor without the water bath (hey! space is premium in Asia!). Anyone has any recommendation?
unicolor/beseler motor base w/ a jobo 2500-series drum(or paterson long drum)
be aware, they come in two flavors: self-reversing, and single-direction only(you have to flip the drum ends to reverse direction)
reversing of direction helps prevent bromide drag(streaking) on your negs.
scour ebay, craigslist, etc... there's plenty of them out there, I got mine(and hopefully soon a 2nd) through craigslist for $20.
Thanks, Dan! I will keep a look out for it. There's no one making these things new any more, is there?
But someone also point out that you should get the single direction and reverse it from time to time, as the reversal might not be a complete revolution.
But you can still order parts.
- given that Jobo's processor manufacturing facilities was closed several years ago
A Jobo CPA or CPP is mainly the way to go, especially when you want to use their Expert drums.
If you have 35mm, 120 roll film and ocassionally 4x5" you can consider the Heiland TAS processor. This instrument you can order new and is on the market since 2004.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Phototherm still makes their Sidekick processors. Expensive though. You can find them used for $300-1000 if you keep an eye out.
Phototherm is a much better (i.e. more robust and easier to use) than Jobo CPE-2... more expensive though and not as easy to find.
Because of the potential problem with finding parts, I built a CPE (no lift!!) funtional equivalent using readily available industrial parts. To save money I purchased almost all used components, but equivalent products (temp controller, motor, relays etc.) should be available new for many years to come.
Of course I am married to the Jobo tanks, but they seem built well and I continue to pick up used ones as good deals pop up. I suppose I could build my own tanks that would work, but I doubt that will be necessary.
You can pick up a CPE, CPA, CPP for (almost) nothing here. Weakest point is the elevator but this part you can order new by Jobo. And for the nothing price + lift I doubt you can build something yourself.
ATL are more expensive and for these machines you need serious service.
But for sure availability is different on the different places in the world.
Thank you guys - the information you guys have provided is invaluable!!
A few follow-up comments:
1. DanielStone, dng88: The Uniroller looks like the most cost effective way to get thing started. However, if I were to use it with my current set of Paterson tanks, will it have the problem of rolling the tanks off the roller (the tanks look like they have a tapered profile)? Also, the best thing about rotary processing is using less chemicals - does anyone know off hand how much chemical is needed for the 2-reel and 5-reel tanks?
2. RobertV: I have also been looking at the Jobo CPP2, which as a cold water solenoid to process b/w films below room temperature (maybe the CPP has the same?). Does anyone know how does it work? Does it actually have a heat exchanger to bring down incoming water to a specific temperature, or does one need to provide ready cold water? Here in the tropics, tap water runs between 25-29 degree Celsius (77 to 82 degree F). The footprint of the water bath is not very desirable, but the convenience of automatic temperature control will make it worthwhile! There are CPP2 units coming up in eBay every now and then, but CPPs don't appear often.
3. Tim, alanrockwood: Phototherm! I never knew about Phototherm - the Sidekick looks awesome, and it looks like its in the league of the Jobo ATL-1500. That's really a washing-machine solution: just load the film and press the button! Indeed something to keep in mind. I can't afford brand new ones, but I'll look out for used sets.
4. Neal: honestly - until i knew about the Uniroller - I was thinking just exactly that! Jobo tanks are very easy to get, even in Singapore. So I thought it should be easy to build a simple rotary processor with a pair of conveyor rollers, one motorized and one free-wheeling. I figure I'll need relays, a simple controller to reverse the direction, a power supply, a dial to control the rotation reversal interval, and a on-off switch. But alas - my expertise stops at the software, and I don't know enough about the electronics components that I need to get (didn't think I'll need to know this when I skipped all the electronics classes). If you would be so kind to share the plan, that would definitely help!
Hey, guys, again - much appreciated for all the information!